By Dr. David Velkoff - Caffeine is a stimulant that can occur naturally in substances like coffee, tea, and chocolate. It has been suggested[i] that caffeine may help improve some symptoms of ADHD, but scientific evidence remains inconclusive. For instance, there is no evidence that caffeine has any significant effect on attention; however, in some cases, it can help enhance processing speed.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Individuals with ADHD may experience fatigue as a common symptom due to the extra efforts they may have to make in managing day-to-day tasks.[i] The challenge of navigating daily responsibilities with the added stress of struggling to meet expectations can contribute to increased feelings of exhaustion and burnout.
By Dr. David Velkoff - There is indeed a connection between ADHD and depression: up to 30% of children who have ADHD also have a serious mood disorder like depression. In fact, some experts believe that more than half of people who have ADHD will get treatment for depression at some point in their lives.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that influences mood, attention, motivation, and pleasure and is essential for optimal brain functioning. Current research suggests a potential connection between ADHD and a lack of dopamine.
ADHD, characterized by challenges in attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, may find its roots in dysregulated dopamine function. A dopamine imbalance could contribute to the manifestation of ADHD symptoms, considering its role in regulating focus and impulse control.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Research indicates that individuals with ADHD are four times more likely to experience working memory problems. Impairment in working memory can manifest in various aspects of daily life, from forgetfulness in routine tasks to inability to follow a series of verbal instructions and reading comprehension and retention. This produces difficulties in academic or professional settings.
By Dr. David Velkoff - ADHD’s impact on concentration and focus stems from dysregulation in regions or networks of the brain involved in sustained focusing, impulse control, and executive functioning. This dysregulated brainwave activity can negatively impact the ADHD individual’s ability to sustain focus, organize, prioritize, initiate, and complete tasks.
By Dr. David Velkoff - ADHD stimming, short for "self-stimulatory behavior," is a term that encompasses a wide range of repetitive actions and movements. These behaviors, such as nail-biting, leg-bouncing, hair-twirling, and repeating sounds, are observed in some individuals with ADHD.
By Dr. David Velkoff - ADHD paralysis, often described as "freezing" or "shutting down," is a phenomenon that can result from the unique cognitive and neurological characteristics of individuals with ADHD. There is a mismatch between the demands on the patient and what they’re capable of accomplishing based on dysregulated brain functioning.
By Dr. David Velkoff - ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that typically persists into adulthood, and while it doesn’t inherently worsen over time, the presentation of its symptoms can evolve. If one is not properly treated for ADHD, then they are at risk for developing additional problems and/or disorders, such as mood disorders and substance use disorders.
By Dr. David Velkoff - To qualify for an ADHD assessment, an individual must exhibit a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that significantly interferes with their daily functioning or development. This pattern should be present for a certain amount of time and in two or more settings, like school, home, work, or social environments.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Attention Deficit Disorder, widely known as ADD, is no longer an official diagnosis. What used to be referred to as ADD without hyperactivity is now categorized as ADHD Inattentive Presentation. This subtype of ADHD does not include symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsivity.
By Dr. David Velkoff - ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is an often misunderstood disorder that affects attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, academic performance, and emotional regulation in some individuals. But is ADHD a learning disability? While the symptoms associated with ADHD, like hyperactivity, impulse control, and inattention can make learning more difficult, ADHD is not a learning disability.
By Dr. David Velkoff - It is possible for an individual to have both ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and autism. In fact, research has shown that more than half of all individuals diagnosed with ASD also display signs of ADHD. These signs often include difficulties with attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity.
By Dr. David Velkoff - The MTHFR gene is responsible for converting folate (vitamin B9) into a usable form for the body. Some studies have explored a potential link between certain MTHFR gene variants and increased autism risk.
These variants might affect brain development and function due to their impact on folate metabolism and methylation processes. Research is ongoing to learn more about the MTHFR gene mutation and autism.
By Dr. David Velkoff - If you’ve ever wondered how rare ADHD is, you'll find that it’s not as uncommon as you might think.
Recent ADHD statistics indicate that nearly 10 percent of American children aged 3-17 have ever been diagnosed with ADHD. The prevalence of ADHD diagnosis is higher for boys than for girls.
By Dr. David Velkoff - ADHD/ADD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) are two distinct clinical disorders that can co-occur.
ADHD/ADD is characterized by challenges in attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, affecting an individual's ability to concentrate and regulate behavior. On the other hand, ODD is primarily identified by a pattern of oppositional and defiant behaviors, marked by frequent arguments, defiance, and hostility towards authority figures.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Currently, autism cannot be cured. As a complex neurodevelopmental disorder, it’s important to recognize that autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning it affects individuals differently and has a wide range of symptoms.
That said, even some individuals with more significant challenges from their deficits can achieve a better quality of life with proper support and clinical intervention.
By Dr. David Velkoff - ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects around 5% of the global population. Among school-age children, ADHD prevalence can rise to as high as 12%.
The cause of ADHD can be multi-factorial, leaving people to ask if you are born with ADHD or does it develop later, and whether ADHD is genetic or environmental. Research indicates there is evidence of a genetic basis, with multiple genes potentially involved, with heritability estimates ranging from 75% to 91%.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Autistic masking is a behavioral pattern commonly observed in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is a strategy that autistic individuals use to hide their symptoms and better “fit in” with their peers.
ASD masking behaviors can manifest in many ways, including rehearsing or preparing scripted responses to comments, mirroring the facial expressions of others, and more.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Autism and sleep problems are quite common, with studies indicating that between 40-80% of children with ASD experience sleep difficulties. These difficulties can manifest in various ways, including difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakenings during the night, restless sleep, and early morning awakenings. These sleep disruptions not only impact the well-being and quality of life of individuals with autism but can also affect their caregivers.
By Dr. David Velkoff - According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts an individual's social interactions, communication, and behavior.
It is characterized by persistent challenges in social communication and interaction, as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. Autism is considered a spectrum disorder, meaning that its symptoms can range from mild to severe and vary greatly from person to person.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Although there are some similarities between ADHD and autism, they are two separate conditions with distinct diagnostic criteria.
ADHD is characterized by core symptoms of inattention, and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity, while autism is characterized by social communication deficits, repetitive behaviors, restricted interests, and rigidity. However, because many individuals with autism also have symptoms of ADHD, healthcare providers may evaluate for both conditions during a comprehensive evaluation.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Ensuring a proper diet for autism is a key part of improving symptoms. However, some autistic individuals may have food aversions and sensitivities, making mealtime challenging for parents.
They may have a limited range of foods they will eat, which can lead to concerns about weight gain or malnutrition. Some autistic individuals may struggle with sensory issues related to food, such as texture, taste, and smell, and may need occupational therapy to develop strategies to become comfortable with a variety of new foods.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects individuals from a very young age. The first signs of autism may appear without warning, and early identification and intervention are important for improving outcomes for individuals with ASD. One of the earliest signs of ASD is a lack of or reduced eye contact, which can be observed in infants as young as 6 months old. This may be accompanied by a lack of response to social cues, such as not responding to their name or not smiling in response to a caregiver’s face.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Over the past decade, an increase in autism rates in the United States has been noted. According to data, the rates have seen a steady increase over time. In 2012, it was reported that 1 in 88 children had an autism diagnosis. By 2014, that number had risen to 1 in 68, and the latest data suggest a further increase to 1 in 36. But why is autism on the rise?
By Dr. David Velkof - Level 3 autism is the most severe form of the disorder and requires a substantial amount of support for the best possible outcomes. Many individuals are nonverbal or very limited verbal with severe communication deficits. Repetitive physical behaviors are also more problematic in autism level 3.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Type 2 autism, or level 2 autism, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how an individual communicates and behaves. They are compromised in social communication, exhibiting atypical social behaviors, and may even walk away in the middle of an interaction. They may also experience stress when confronted with change or transition. Many individuals with type 2 autism need extra support at home or school.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Type 1 autism is the first of the three recognized levels of autism. Level 1 autism is considered the “mildest” type of ASD, with symptoms being less disruptive to the individual’s life compared to level 2 and level 3. Autism level 1 symptoms include difficulty with social communication and interaction, along with inflexible behavior. Level 1 autism treatment will help address these symptoms and provide ongoing support, especially in educational settings.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Sensory processing disorder (SPD) and autism (ASD) are neurodevelopmental disorders that can appear in early childhood. While they often occur together, you can have sensory issues without autism.
Are sensory issues a sign of autism? They can be an additional symptom that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder struggle with, but not every autistic individual will experience them.
SPD without autism does occur, and SPD has been estimated to occur in 5-16% of Children in the United States. Furthermore, there are significant differences in certain brain networks between these two conditions.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Down Syndrome and autism are lifelong conditions with some overlapping characteristics. While they may occur together, they are distinct conditions with different causes.
Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition that appears during early fetal development. Autism, on the other hand, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that generally appears in early childhood.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Recent autism statistics show that ASD prevalence may be higher than we think. Just how common is autism?
According to 2018 data from the CDC, roughly 1 in 44 children receives an autism diagnosis. As science progresses in the study of autism, diagnoses become more reliable, even at an early age. Early treatment is crucial, so the earlier a diagnosis is received, the better the outcome for the child.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Autism has become more frequently diagnosed in children, leaving many to wonder: "What does autism in adults look like?"
The signs of autism in adults may not be as apparent, particularly in higher-functioning adults on the spectrum.
Autistic adults may have social anxiety or prefer to be alone, may misread other people’s intentions, may not be aware of how their behavior or words affect other people, and, as a result, may unintentionally come off as brutally honest or insensitive to other people’s feelings. In fact, adults with autism may even seem completely disinterested in other family members' lives or needs.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Autistic stimming is a unique type of behavior that serves as a coping mechanism to deal with overwhelming situations, emotions, or thoughts. “Stimming” refers to “self-stimulation” and usually consists of repetitive body movements like hand flapping or rocking back and forth. Autism stimming behaviors vary from person to person, and some people with autism may not exhibit any at all.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Since 2013, high-functioning ASD is no longer an official diagnosis, but it has continued to be used at times by the lay public to differentiate between levels of functioning or clinical severity. It is an informal term that has been used to describe people with autism who can live independently and function “normally” in certain areas of their life, but not necessarily occupationally and socially.
So just what is high-functioning autism? High-functioning autism is more similar to the current diagnosis of ASD level 1, where patients require less support than those patients with more impairments. However, impairments in social interactions and restrictive repetitive behavior are disruptive and limiting in everyday life.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Of the questions surrounding autism spectrum disorder, one of the most common is whether or not autism gets better or worse with age.
Autism tends to manifest at an early age. What’s more, autism isn’t a disorder that necessarily gets worse; however, symptoms can change over time, depending on the person, their coping skills, the challenges they face in school and socially, and the treatment they’ve received along with supportive services. There is no definitive path that autism symptoms take over time.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Autism Spectrum Disorder is a brain-based disorder typically diagnosed in children. That leaves many adults wondering if they can become autistic later in life, especially if they’ve noticed autism-like symptoms.
Because of the nature of the disorder, you cannot develop autism as an adult. ASD arises from atypical brain development. The brains of adults have already completed basic neurodevelopment, so you cannot develop autism later in life. However, it is still possible for autism to be diagnosed later, especially in higher-functioning adults.
By Dr. David Velkoff - While autism has become a more commonly diagnosed developmental disorder, autistic women and girls aren’t diagnosed nearly as often as their male counterparts. The main reason is that signs of autism in women and girls look different than they do for boys and society has different behavioral expectations for girls as opposed to boys.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, affects children and adults, both male and female. As a disorder of the brain, it is characterized by repetitive behaviors, impaired social communication, restricted interests, and rigidity.
When considering the prevalence of autism in boys vs. girls, boys are diagnosed with autism about four times more often than girls. However, recent research reveals that the condition may be more common in girls than previously thought.
By Dr. David Velkoff - When it comes to Asperger’s vs. autism, Asperger’s generally features less severe symptoms and more higher functioning.
Patients with Asperger’s can be extremely high-functioning and successful in their careers but have significant difficulties in interpersonal relations. In these patients, language skills can be on par with peers, even though their use of language can sometimes be described as odd or unconventional.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Nervousness and anxiety are two very common stress responses that the majority of people will experience in their life. But is being nervous and anxious the same thing?
Anxiety is a persistent state of worry; it is disruptive to daily life and can arise anytime. Nervousness, on the other hand, is a more acute stress response that directly results from a real or imagined threat. In other words, feeling nervous can subside once the situation is over.
When it comes to nervousness vs. anxiety, remember that anxiety is a more continuous state of worry with psychophysiological symptoms. Nervousness tends to be more short-lived, and symptoms tend to be milder.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Testing for autism isn’t as simple as sending a blood sample to a lab or taking an x-ray. Because it is a neurodevelopmental disorder, autism evaluation begins with identifying any areas where the child is not meeting expected developmental milestones.
Parents, childcare workers, teachers, and others who interact with the child are generally the first to notice any developmental delays or differences. Actively monitoring your child’s development will help facilitate identifying potential signs of autism early on.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Fear and anxiety are common responses that most people experience at some point in their lives. And while these emotions can make us feel uncomfortable, they can be appropriate in certain circumstances and situations like emergencies. Indeed, fear and anxiety have evolved to help humans avoid danger and navigate potentially dangerous situations. However, persistent fear or anxiety can have a negative impact on daily living and our health.
And although they’re similar, there are some important differences between fear and anxiety.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Autism and ADHD are both neurodevelopmental disorders that can sometimes be difficult to differentiate thanks to their similar symptoms.
For example, social impairment (i.e., difficulty sustaining a conversation, trouble maintaining eye contact, unable to read social cues, impulsivity, etc.) is a symptom of both disorders. However, while both autistic and ADHD children may struggle with social impairment, ADHD children can typically have reciprocal interactions with their peers and others, whereas autistic children are compromised in this area.
By Dr. David Velkoff - If your child has been diagnosed with ASD, you may wonder if autism can go away or if kids grow out of autism. The short answer is that while symptoms may change over time, growing out of autism is possible, but not common. As a neurodevelopmental disorder, autism arises when there are abnormalities in brain development that cause dysregulation in brain functioning.
By Dr. David Velkoff - There is no single agreed-upon genetic cause of autism, but there are several genetic indicators that could make an autism diagnosis more likely. For example, having siblings or other family members with autism or having certain chromosomal conditions like Fragile X Syndrome could suggest autism is a more likely possibility. That means that in some cases, autism may be genetic or hereditary linked to a certain extent. However, genetics may not tell the whole story, as there are also other risk factors involved.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Children can be misdiagnosed as having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and not actually be autistic. It is concerning enough for a parent to be told their child is on the Autism Spectrum, but for a child to be misdiagnosed as having autism can cause unnecessary stress and worry for the family.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Autism Spectrum Disorder includes the neurodevelopmental disorders previously called Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Because even mild autism symptoms usually appear by age three, the diagnosis most often occurs in children rather than teenagers or adults. Though autism affects each person differently, there are a few common signs of autism, especially autism in children. Autism indicators in children include impairments in social communication and restrictive and repetitive behavior.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Brain mapping is an invaluable diagnostic and treatment instrument for a variety of brain-based disorders, including autism. It enables medical professionals to identify the areas of the brain which are dysregulated that are linked to symptoms. This information allows for a more in-depth understanding of what’s driving the symptoms, allowing us to create a more effective treatment protocol.
By Dr. David Velkoff - For those with ADHD, sugar intake should be monitored closely since it can make ADHD symptoms worse. In fact, ADHD and sugar consumption has been studied to determine just how they interact. In this article, we'll look at just how sugar affects ADHD, if sugar causes ADHD, and how to approach ADHD sugar consumption.
By. Dr. David Velkoff - Both depression and anxiety are mood disorders that can have physical and neurological symptoms. Anxiety may cause feelings of restlessness, worry, or fear, while depression often causes a person to feel sad, hopeless, or generally low. Both disorders can negatively impact daily activities, work, and relationships, but they are different disorders. However, even though both disorders can arise from the same causes, they are marked by distinct physiological, mood, and mental symptoms. The difference between anxiety and depression is mainly in the types of symptoms present.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Neurofeedback can help with anger and other emotional responses. It can help patients utilize the mind-body connection to minimize excessive feelings of anger, irritation, and annoyance.
What’s more, patients can achieve this peaceful state long after treatment sessions have ended because they’ve developed self-regulation.
By. Dr David Velkoff - The symptoms of stress and anxiety are often similar, but they result from different causes. What's more, anxiety is typically characterized specifically by worry, fear, and dread. These feelings can result in racing thoughts, excessive sweating, increased muscle tension, difficulty falling asleep, and a general sense of nervousness. Whereas stress can share some of the same symptoms that occur with anxiety, it also may include excessive anger and feelings of being threatened or out of control.
By Dr. David Velkoff - With all that neurofeedback has to offer in helping treat ADHD, Autism, and anxiety disorders, many people wonder if neurofeedback can make you smarter.
Neurofeedback can improve cognitive functioning and efficiency, has been shown to improve IQ scores, and helps one function at their best to improve their overall productivity, performance, and quality of life.
By Dr. David Velkoff - There are several different forms of anxiety, with no two cases presenting exactly alike.
Based on the triggers and symptoms, anxiety disorders can be separated into different types commonly seen in adults and children.
And while some amount of anxiety is completely normal, especially when dealing with the pressures of relationships, work, school, and more, if the anxiety persists for 6 months or more, it could mean that the individual is now suffering from an anxiety disorder.
By Dr. David Velkoff - GAD stands for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It is a psychophysiological disorder, which means that symptoms could manifest both physically and emotionally.
Like other types of anxiety disorders, the signs of Generalized Anxiety Disorder may include muscle tension, digestive difficulties, headaches, sleep disturbances, or feelings of fear and worry.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Panic attacks occur suddenly and are accompanied by feelings of profound fear or terror as if you are in immediate danger or a life-threatening experience. On the other hand, there is no medical consensus on the existence of “anxiety attacks”, as there is on panic attacks, but anxiety disorders are obviously recognized. Having feelings of worry or anxiety every once in a while is a normal part of life. However, when this anxiety becomes too frequent or intense and disrupts social or occupational functioning, as well as the quality of your life or health, it may be classified as an anxiety disorder.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a neurological disorder that can have a devastating effect on a person’s day-to-day life. This condition is marked by obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions that are disruptive to daily activities. People with OCD may also experience severe anxiety with their symptoms.
Neurofeedback for OCD is a safe and effective treatment aimed at reducing the intensity and frequency of a patient’s OCD-related symptoms. While there is no cure for OCD, neurofeedback therapy can help patients achieve improved control of their thought and behavioral patterns so they can have a higher quality of life.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Treatment for dementia usually involves the use of prescription medications and/or several kinds of behavioral and occupational therapies. However, there’s no known cure for dementia, meaning the best modern science can do is temporarily improve the patient’s quality of life and attempt to reduce symptoms.
Research has shown neurofeedback to improve symptoms of dementia, specifically “patients with AD [Alzheimer’s Disease] who received neurofeedback treatment had stable or improved cognitive performance”.
By Dr. David Velkoff - During qEEG brain mapping, the brain is not stimulated in any way and drugs are not administered. Instead, brain mapping simply measures the patient’s current brainwave activity. This data is then used to create custom Neurofeedback and Neuromodulation treatment protocols to help patients reduce the symptoms of ADHD, Autism, PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and more. The only potential side effect we have seen in 30 years of using the technology is infrequent, minor, and temporary skin irritation.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Neurofeedback therapy is a drug-free, non-invasive treatment protocol that carries several significant benefits, including improved self-regulation, improved cognitive functioning, and more.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Compared to drug-based treatments that often rely on trial and error, Drake’s brain map-guided neurofeedback therapy protocols are much safer and carry far fewer risks of side effects and complications.
At the Drake Institute, every neurofeedback treatment protocol is tailor-made by our medical director to achieve the best results for each patient.
These protocols do not include external stimulation or medications. Instead, neurofeedback is simply a means of measuring and displaying a patient’s brainwave activity so the patient can make healthy desired changes.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Because results from neurofeedback therapy are self-generated and not dependent on prescription medications, patients can experience symptom improvement and relief long after treatment has ended.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Brain mapping is a safe and effective procedure for identifying brain dysregulation and other brain functioning abnormalities. By mapping the patient’s brainwave activity, we can identify which areas of the brain are over or under-activated and develop highly effective treatment protocols for disorders like ADHD, Autism, stress, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, insomnia, and more.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Neurofeedback therapy for epileptic seizures is an effective, non-invasive, and non-drug treatment protocol designed to help patients reduce symptoms.
In fact, epilepsy was one of the first disorders to be successfully treated with neurofeedback. What’s more, neurofeedback can also provide patients with improved concentration and processing speed.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Stress disorders can present in many ways, can include uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous physical symptoms, including high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, and more.
Neurofeedback helps patients learn how to reduce their stress levels and, therefore, their physical symptoms as well. Reducing these symptoms, as a result of the patient’s utilizing one’s learned self-regulation abilities developed from the treatments, empowers each patient to live a better quality of life with the ability to diminish the effects of stress on them.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Treating traumatic brain injury is notoriously tricky due to the complicated nature of the brain. However, Neurofeedback has proven to be effective for post-concussion syndrome, with improvements in patients’ symptoms, including depression. The Drake Institute uses non-invasive, non-drug treatments to help patients recover from mild traumatic brain injuries.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Neurofeedback is a non-invasive and non-drug treatment protocol used to treat a variety of stress and anxiety-related disorders, including panic attacks. Neurofeedback therapy for panic attacks gives the patient a real-time awareness of their brain’s current activity and functioning. With the guidance and support of our staff, the patient will learn to identify and regulate more normally their psychophysiological responses to a supposed threat. Then, as the patient continues their treatment, they continue to learn and improve self-regulation which can enable them to stop or prevent panic attacks.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Neurofeedback therapy for insomnia can be incredibly effective, especially when combined with qEEG brain mapping and Neuromodulation. With the help of neurofeedback training, patients can learn how to self-regulate and generate more “optimal” brainwave functioning without the help of any external stimuli, leading to a better quality of sleep, and thus, a better quality of life.
By Dr. David Velkoff - With the help of neurofeedback therapy, the Drake Institute has helped over 2,000 patients improve core symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Moreover, neurofeedback training can also reduce, or in some cases, completely eliminate co-occurring symptoms originating from secondary conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, and language processing disorders.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Neurofeedback therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a non-drug, non-invasive treatment protocol that’s shown to be effective and safe. With the help of neurofeedback therapy, patients can recognize the signs of stress and anxiety and “shift” their brainwave functioning to a healthier state to achieve symptom reduction. Neurofeedback therapy can even reduce or eliminate the frequency and severity of potential panic attacks.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Neurofeedback therapy is an effective treatment for a variety of disorders and conditions, including clinical depression. The Drake Institute has successfully treated depression without drugs or invasive procedures for the last forty years. Patients who receive neurofeedback therapy report a much higher sense of wellbeing and fewer physical symptoms related to their depression.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Neurofeedback therapy can be used to treat a variety of disorders, including ADD, ADHD, Autism, Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Insomnia, addictions, and a whole variety of other issues.
Neurofeedback allows patients to take a more active role in determining the way that their brain functions, helping them to generate the proper brainwaves at the right time, which can result in the reduction of a variety of negative symptoms.
Once neurofeedback treatment ends, patients can continue to practice the techniques and skills they developed during the therapy to self-generate long-term improvements, which is what makes neurofeedback good for treating various disorders over the long run.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Neurofeedback can be a valuable treatment for several disorders, but it works exceptionally well for anxiety and stress-related disorders. With neurofeedback training, you can learn to improve and strengthen your brainwave patterns so that your brain functions in the proper balance.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Though neurofeedback therapy is an established treatment for multiple disorders, you still might be wondering if neurofeedback therapy really does work. Neurofeedback is an effective and safe treatment process that allows patients to achieve long-term success in managing their symptoms. After participating in neurofeedback treatment at the Drake Institute, thousands of patients have found relief for debilitating conditions like ADHD, autism, depression, PTSD, insomnia, anxiety, and other stress-related disorders.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that focuses exclusively on the brain. This type of therapy is non-invasive and doesn't require the use of drugs or other stimuli to generate results. Instead, neurofeedback uses sensors to record brainwave activity and presents it in a manner that patients can understand. With the help of neurofeedback therapy, patients can see how their brain is working and start taking direct control over their brain’s functioning.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Biofeedback and neurofeedback (EEG-biofeedback) are both non-invasive treatment protocols that can be used to treat several disorders without the use of medications. Over the last 40 years, the Drake Institute has pioneered the use of biofeedback and neurofeedback therapies and found new ways to use these treatment methodologies to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from a variety of debilitating disorders and illnesses.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Anxiety is our mind and body’s natural response to stressful situations, events, and encounters. However, the feeling of dread that accompanies our anxiety response should dissipate over time, but if the symptoms of anxiety are persistent and excessive, then the individual may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Homeschooling can and does work for many children; however, when a child is suffering from a disorder like ADHD, homeschooling can present a number of problems. For example, unless the child is under constant supervision, it is impossible to keep him or her from becoming distracted or losing focus on their assigned task. That said, there are steps parents can take to help their ADHD child learn at home.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Brain mapping is an important clinical procedure that can be used in the evaluation of patients suffering from a variety of disorders, including ADHD / ADD, Autism, Stress, Anxiety, and more. With the help of brain mapping, our clinicians can pinpoint which brainwave patterns and functional networks are operating abnormally, as well as the brain regions where the dysregulation is occurring, letting us create much more specific and precise treatment procedures.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Diet is an integral component of healthy living, and without the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, our bodies and minds will not perform at their best. Additionally, diet can influence the severity of certain conditions like ADD/ADHD. In fact, by simply limiting the number of processed foods in our diet, we can mitigate some of the symptoms associated with these conditions.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Biofeedback Treatment is a non-invasive treatment protocol designed to help patients improve their stress-related symptoms by leveraging the mind-body connection to reach a deep state of relaxation. By utilizing this connection, patients can better control their body's involuntary functions, including blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, pain perception, and much more.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Neurofeedback therapy for ADHD is a non-invasive, non-drug treatment protocol designed to address the underlying causes of ADHD. Through Neurofeedback treatment, patients can develop a more normal and optimal pattern of brain functioning. What's more, when we say "non-invasive", we mean it. During Neurofeedback treatment, drugs are not administered and the brain is not stimulated.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Although many adults report that they've overcome their ADHD symptoms, this belief is often fueled by the assumption, that, because they're no longer hyperactive, their ADHD is under control and their battle with ADHD and ADD is over. Unfortunately, hyperactivity is only part of the ADHD equation, and as much as 60% of children will continue to be afflicted with negative symptoms well into their adult lives.
By Dr. David Velkoff - The stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can cause serious harm to our health and immune system. Although difficult, we must all try our best to reduce stress and anxiety; otherwise, we will be more susceptible to experiencing stress-related symptoms like high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and even panic attacks. Fortunately, there are some simple steps we can take to help make coping with the COVID-19 pandemic a little bit easier .
By Dr. David Velkoff - Understanding the causes of ADHD in children and adults can be difficult; however, this uncertainty doesn't prevent the disorder from being successfully treated. All neurodevelopment disorders share an important commonality: the brain. Therefore, by treating the patients underlying brain dysregulation, the Drake Institute can help patients experience symptom relief without the use of stimulant ADHD medications.
By Dr. David Velkof - The Drake Institute's industry-leading neurostimulation for ADHD can provide long-term symptom relief for kids and adults. What's more, our treatment protocols are 100% non-invasive and drug-free, meaning patients don't have to worry about experiencing any negative side effects. With the help of neurostimulation, patients can receive therapeutic relief from their ADHD symptoms much faster than ever before.
By Dr. David Velkoff - The Drake Institute's industry-leading biofeedback therapy for stress and anxiety non-invasive, non-drug treatment protocol designed to help patients leverage the mind-body connection to reach a deep state of relaxation.
By Dr. David Velkoff - The Drake Institute's industry-leading neurofeedback therapy for ADHD is a non-drug, non-invasive treatment protocol designed to help patients achieve more optimal brain functioning. Through neurofeedback training, patients learn how to self-regulate and recognize when they're brain is fully engaged, leading to long-lasting symptom reduction.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Children afflicted with ADD/ADHD are not only more likely to get bullied in school, but they're also at risk of becoming bullies themselves. Indeed, ADHD behaviors, like making impulsive comments, being clumsy, not understanding personal space, violating boundaries, etc., may make ADHD children more susceptible to bullying behavior. What's worse, bullying can cause children to develop life-long struggles with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and even PTSD. However, there are steps parents can take to help stop and prevent bullying from ever occurring.
By Dr. David Velkoff - There is a strong link between anxiety and IBS symptoms; in fact, anxiety and IBS can create a negative feedback loop where symptoms like nausea and cramping lead to increased levels of stress, and vice versa. This is because of the strong connection between the brain and the gut, and as it turns out, 95% of the body's serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps control sleep, mood, and appetite, is found in the gut. Therefore, our emotions and mood are directly linked to the health of our gut, and the health of our gut is directly linked to our emotions.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Kids with ADD can have a difficult time studying and completing their homework, and while it may be frustrating, parents of ADD children have to understand that it's not their fault. When a child has ADD, their brain can become "stuck" in a certain pattern of dysregulation that prevents them from planning, organizing, and prioritizing their assignments.
By Dr. David Velkoff - PTSD is a serious psychiatric condition that affects a variety of individuals--not just soldiers returning home from the battlefield. Indeed, many individuals suffering from PTSD have never had a first-hand encounter with a stressful or traumatic event, but nevertheless, they still experience a significant number PTSD symptoms, including intense flashbacks, intrusive thoughts or feelings, anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, and many others. In many cases, these symptoms are treated with mood stabilizers and antidepressants, but at the Drake Institute, we believe there is a better way.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Children with ADHD can experience a variety of negative symptoms, including hyperactivity, poor listening skills, and difficulty finishing tasks such as homework. However, what many parent's don't realize is that ADHD children are also at risk for developing secondary behavioral issues, such as defiance, depression, and anxiety. These behavioral issues can not only cause additional distress for both the child and their family, but they can actually cause their ADHD symptoms to become worse.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Raising a child with ADHD can be an extremely stressful and difficult experience for both the child and the parents. In fact, a study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that parents with ADHD children have nearly twice the divorce rate as marriages that do not have an ADHD child. What's more, many parents of ADHD children unfairly judge or blame themselves as being ineffective or failing to have enough of an impact in helping their ADHD child.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Reading comprehension is something that many children and adults struggle with, but is it ADHD or something else? Indeed, poor reading comprehension doesn't always originate from an attentional disorder--there may be other underlying issues present as well, such as an auditory or language processing disorder. Unfortunately, when faced with complaints of poor focus or reading comprehension, many physicians will simply prescribe stimulant ADHD medications, without first identifying the root of the problem.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Understanding the difference between ADHD and anxiety is a critical step in determining the appropriate treatment plan. Indeed, while the symptoms of ADHD and anxiety can look extremely similar, there are some important distinctions to be made. For example, children afflicted with a generalized anxiety disorder may have poor focus because their minds are dominated by anxious thoughts; however, an ADHD child's mind can be quiet, but easily distracted under certain circumstances.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by an irrational fear of a location or situation. Indeed, this fear can make a trip to the bank or grocery store filled with so much anxiety that it becomes nearly unbearable for the individual to endure. Crowds are also an issue for those suffering from agoraphobia, as it can make the afflicted individual feel as if they're in a life-threatening situation.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Although effective in some cases, stimulant medications like Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin, and Concerta can cause a whole host of negative side-effects. In fact, a landmark study published online in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that children with ADHD who took stimulant medications from childhood into adulthood were, on average, shorter than their peers who didn't take ADHD medications.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Phobias are a serious problem in the United States, where as many as 19 million people are affected by a phobia of some sort. Fortunately, treatment for anxiety and phobic disorders is available and it has also shown to be highly effective. In this article, we will cover some basic information about phobic anxiety disorders and how they are treated at the Drake Institute.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Insomnia is a serious condition affecting nearly a quarter of Americans and is characterized by an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Interestingly, insomnia isn't necessarily defined by the number of hours a person sleeps on a nightly basis; instead, insomnia is measured by the quality of sleep a person receives. So even if you're getting 7-9 hours of sleep at night, you still might be suffering from negative symptoms such as drowsiness, difficulty paying attention, and even memory loss due to sleep deprivation.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Anxious ADD is one of the 7 theorized subtypes of ADD and is characterized by a severe feeling of anxiousness, nervousness, fear of confrontations, as well as symptoms of ADD. These symptoms are caused by a dysregulated brain, and after undergoing a qEEG brain map, we can often see that regions of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex and limbic system, are demonstrating atypical neuronal activity.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Overfocused ADD is one of the theorized 7 types of ADD and characterized by obsessiveness, rigid thinking, inflexibility with being able to shift one's attention, and symptoms of ADHD. Treatment options typically involve a range of medications, sometimes counseling and/or changes to diet, but at the Drake Institute, we believe there's a better way.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Inattentive ADD is a very common type of ADD; however, due to the nature of its observed symptoms, it is often confused for other disorders such as anxiety or depression. And while hyperactive individuals are easy to spot, children and adults afflicted by this ADD subtype often slip under the radar since their Inattentive ADD symptoms often don't result in overt behavioral symptoms.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Limbic ADD is one of the theorized "7 types of ADD" and shares many similar symptoms to clinical depression, such as chronic low energy, moodiness, guilt, abnormal sleep, and a feeling of hopelessness. If left untreated, Limbic ADD can lead to failed marriages, poor marks at school, and chronic self-esteem problems.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Temporal Lobe ADD is one of the theorized "7 types of ADD" and is associated with abnormal brain activity in the Temporal Lobes of the brain. Temporal Lobe ADD can have a drastic effect on emotional and cognitive functioning, leaving individuals impaired and unable to achieve their fullest potential.
By Dr. David Velkoff - Treating patients who are afflicted by an illness or any sort of medical condition requires that a proper diagnosis is made. Since ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders originate from the brain, it is critically important that we understand what is going on in the brain, so that a treatment plan can be created on an individual, patient-by-patient basis.
Consider an analogy, if an adult patient is suffering chest pain or experiencing symptoms suggestive of a possible heart problem, then the physician will evaluate the patient’s heart by initially performing an EKG...
By Dr. David Velkoff - Surgeries, while sometimes necessary to keep our children safe, can sometimes carry a number of hidden dangers. One of these dangers is the use of anesthesia in children. Recent research has shown a link between the use of anesthesia in young children and the development of ADHD and other learning disorders...
By Dr. David Velkoff - Children afflicted with ADD and ADHD don't always exhibit the same symptoms; in fact, it is often the case that symptoms will manifest differently between boys and girls. At the Drake Institute, we have observed these differences in symptom presentation and have developed treatment plans specifically designed to help both boys and girls.
By Dr. David Velkoff - For many parents with ADHD children, it can be very confusing to see their child intensely focused on a video game. After all, ADD and ADHD are supposed to inhibit a child's ability to focus on a single task, so why are video games an exception to the rule?
By Dr. David Velkoff - For many individuals, there is a belief that children can eventually grow out of ADD and ADHD on their own; however, research has shown that this is simply a myth. The truth of the matter is much more complex: while certain symptoms of the disorder may disappear on their own, many of the disorder's other negative symptoms are still very much present...
By Dr. David Velkoff - When it comes to ADD and ADHD, it is often the case that the truth gets clouded over and misconstrued by misleading information. The truth is that ADHD is a complex, very real disorder that afflicts 3 to 5 percent of the population, and as a result of misinformation, there are currently many children, adolescents, and adults who have not been successfully treated...
By Dr. David Velkoff - Evaluating a patient for ADHD is a strenuous process that involves the analysis of a variety of different data sets such as brain mapping and patient history. However, there are other strategies for evaluating a patient for ADD and ADHD, one of which being the T.O.V.A assessment. It's important to note, though, that T.O.V.A testing carries some important caveats with it...
By Dr. David Velkoff - Ring of Fire ADD is characterized by over activity in a global sense across the brain. This causes Ring of Fire ADD to be one of the most intense of the 7 types of ADD, causing the sufferer to become overreactive, hypersensitive, and experience intense feelings of anxiety. These symptoms, if left untreated, can lead to serious social and occupational difficulties...
By Dr. David Velkoff - A child suffering from Impulsive ADHD requires a great deal of patience and understanding. As parents and doctors, we have to understand that the impulsive child is not in complete control of their actions: the child's brain lacks the capacity to inhibit these impulses and prevent them from taking form...
By Dr. David Velkoff - There are 7 types of add, and each type brings their own set of unique challenges and difficulties. At Drake, we pride ourselves in our ability to effectively treat each of these known types of ADD with non-invasive, drug-free treatment programs that can provide patients with long lasting, meaningful results...
by Dr. David Velkoff on July 10th, 2010 For 30 years the Drake Institute has made neurofeedback and biofeedback the centerpiece of its treatment programs. It gives us a method to access brain functioning without any negative side effects and restore normalcy, thereby reducing or eliminating symptoms. It is not an “add on” to other therapies or medications in the...
By Art Harris- (Emmy award winning journalist, formerly of CNN and the Washington Post) LOS ANGELES, CA. – She was a mother without hope. Diagnosed with autism, her six year old son, EJ, bit other children, threw tantrums and chairs. “He had no future,” says Beatrice Tan, whose family stopped going to church–too risky to put EJ in the nursery. Now, after several months of...
NIJMEGEN, The Netherlands, July 16 /PRNewswire/ — Neurofeedback – also called EEG Biofeedback – is a method used to train brain activity in order to normalize Brain function and treat psychiatric disorders. This treatment method has gained interest over the last 10 years, however the question whether this treatment should be regarded as an Evidence-Based treatment was...
By SHANKAR VEDANTAM – The Washington Post – Friday, March 27, 2009 WASHINGTON — New data from a large federal study have reignited a debate over the effectiveness of long-term drug treatment of children with hyperactivity or attention-deficit disorder, and have drawn accusations that some members of the research team have sought to play down evidence that medications...
FDA Examines Incidence of Psychotic Symptoms in Children Taking ADHD Medications By Salynn Boyles WebMD Health News Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD Jan. 26, 2009 — Treatment-related hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be more common than previously thought, FDA officials report in the latest issue of the...
By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer Thursday April 10th, 2008 WASHINGTON – For years, the nation’s largest drug and medical device manufacturers have courted doctors with consulting fees, free trips to exotic locales and sponsoring the educational conferences that physicians attend. Those financial ties in most cases need not be disclosed and can lead to arrangements...
September 29, 2008 04:33 PM ET | Nancy Shute | Article Link England has a new plan for helping children with ADHD: Treat the parents first. With that, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is giving a big “Whoa, Nelly!” to the recent trend toward increased use of Ritalin in the United Kingdom, saying instead that the first response should be to give...
Cynthia L. Leibson, PhD; Slavica K. Katusic, MD; William J. Barbaresi, MD; Jeanine Ransom, BS; Peter C. O’Brien, PhD JAMA. 2001;285:60-66. – Read the Full Article by downloading the PDF here Context A shortage of data exists on medical care use by persons with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Objective To compare medical care use and costs among persons with...
Last Updated: 2008-09-04 13:10:59 -0400 (Reuters Health) By Michelle Rizzo NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Compared to what they would be expected to achieve based on intellect, adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD have lower educational and occupational attainments, a study shows. In the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Dr. Joseph Biederman, of Massachusetts...
Treating children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with drugs is not effective in the long-term, research has shown. A study obtained by the BBC’s Panorama programme says drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta work no better than therapy after three years of treatment. Click Here for the original BBC Story. The findings by an influential US study also...
UPI – Wednesday, 23 January 2008 Stimulant medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, may not affect what ADHD looks like in teens, a U.S. doctor found. University of California, Los Angeles researcher Dr. Susan Smalley found it surprising that youth in northern Finland are rarely treated with medicine for ADHD, yet the look of the disorder — its...
UPI – Published: Jan. 24, 2008 at 6:09 PM OULU, Finland, Jan. 24 (UPI) — U.S. researchers looking at attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in Finnish children confirm ADHD symptoms change with age. Read the article at UPI. The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, confirms hyperactive and impulsive behaviors do...
Washington, Jan 25 (ANI): A new study at University of New South Wales has found that incorporating both psychological and biological factors helps in earlier detection of autism. The study was related to autistic and Aspergers disorders, which are characterised by ritualistic behaviours such as counting, tapping, flicking, or repeatedly restating information and compulsive behaviours...
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Interview with Dr. David Velkoff
Interview with Dr. David Velkoff
Spanish News Feature
“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Neurophysical Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Neurophysical Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Neurophysical Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Neurophysical Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”